House Bill No. 5436
               House Bill No. 5436

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 98-102


AN   ACT  CONCERNING  WATER  UTILITY  RECEIVERSHIP
PROCEDURES.


    Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and House of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section  1.  Subsection (a) of section 16-262f
of  the  general  statutes  is  repealed  and  the
following is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a)  (1)  Upon  default  of  the owner, agent,
lessor or manager of a residential dwelling who is
billed   directly  by  an  electric,  gas  [,]  OR
telephone [or water] company  or  by  a  municipal
utility   for  ELECTRIC  OR  GAS  utility  service
furnished  to  such  building,  such  company   or
municipal  utility may petition the Superior Court
or a judge thereof, for appointment of a  receiver
of  the rents or payments for use and occupancy OR
COMMON EXPENSES, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 47-202, for
any dwelling for which the owner, agent, lessor or
manager is in default. The court  or  judge  shall
forthwith  issue  an  order  to  show  cause why a
receiver should not be appointed, which  shall  be
served upon the owner, agent, lessor or manager or
his agent in a manner most  reasonably  calculated
to  give  notice  to  such owner, agent, lessor or
manager as determined  by  such  court  or  judge,
including,  but  not limited to, a posting of such
order on the premises in question.
    (2)  A  hearing  shall be had on such order no
later than seventy-two hours after its issuance or
the  first  court day thereafter. The sole purpose
of such a hearing shall be  to  determine  whether
there  is  an  amount  due  and  owing between the
owner, agent, lessor or manager and the company or
municipal   utility.   The   court  shall  make  a
determination of any amount due and owing and  any
amount  so determined shall constitute a lien upon
the real property of such owner. A certificate  of
such amount may be recorded in the land records of
the  town  in  which  such  property  is   located
describing  the amount of the lien and the name of
the party in default.  When  the  amount  due  and
owing  has  been  paid the company or municipality
shall issue a certificate discharging the lien and
shall  file the certificate in the land records of
the town in which such lien was recorded.
    (3)  The receiver appointed by the court shall
collect  all  rents  or  payments  for   use   and
occupancy  OR COMMON EXPENSES forthcoming from the
occupants of the building in question in place  of
the owner, agent, lessor or manager.
    (4)  The  receiver shall pay the petitioner or
other supplier, from such rents  or  payments  for
use  and  occupancy  [,]  OR  COMMON  EXPENSES for
electric, gas, telephone,  water  or  heating  oil
supplied on and after the date of his appointment.
The owner,  agent,  lessor  or  manager  shall  be
liable   for   such   reasonable  fees  and  costs
determined by the court to be  due  the  receiver,
which  fees  and  costs  may be recovered from the
rents or payments for use and occupancy under  the
control  of the receiver, provided no such fees or
costs shall be recovered until after  payment  for
current electric, gas, telephone and water service
and heating oil  deliveries  has  been  made.  The
owner, agent, lessor or manager shall be liable to
the petitioner for reasonable attorney's fees  and
costs incurred by the petitioner, provided no such
fees or  costs  shall  be  recovered  until  after
payment  for  current electric, gas, telephone and
water service and heating oil deliveries has  been
made  and  after  payments  of reasonable fees and
costs to the  receiver.  Any  moneys  from  rental
payments  or  payments  for  use  and occupancy OR
COMMON  EXPENSES  remaining  after   payment   for
current electric, gas, telephone and water service
or heating oil deliveries, and after  payment  for
reasonable  costs  and  fees  to the receiver, and
after payment to  the  petitioner  for  reasonable
attorney's fees and costs, shall be applied to any
arrearage found by the court to be due  and  owing
the  company  or municipal utility from the owner,
agent, lessor or manager for service provided such
building. Any moneys remaining thereafter shall be
turned  over  to  the  owner,  agent,  lessor   or
manager.  The  court may order an accounting to be
made at such times as it determines  to  be  just,
reasonable, and necessary.
    Sec.  2.  (NEW)  (a)  (1)  Upon default of the
owner, agent, lessor or manager of  a  residential
dwelling  or dwellings who is billed directly by a
water company or by a municipal water utility  for
water   service  furnished  to  such  building  or
buildings, such company or municipal  utility  may
petition  the  Superior  Court or a judge thereof,
for appointment of a  receiver  of  the  rents  or
payments for use and occupancy or common expenses,
as  defined  in  section  47-202  of  the  general
statutes,  for any dwelling or dwellings for which
the owner, agent, lessor or manager is in default.
The  court or judge shall forthwith issue an order
to  show  cause  why  a  receiver  should  not  be
appointed,  which  shall be served upon the owner,
agent, lessor or manager or his agent in a  manner
most  reasonably calculated to give notice to such
owner, agent, lessor or manager as  determined  by
such  court  or  judge, including, but not limited
to, a posting of such order  on  the  premises  in
question.  If a petition or petitions are filed by
a  single  petitioner  regarding  more  than   one
building  under  the  same  ownership,  the  court
shall, if practicable, appoint a  common  receiver
for  all  such buildings and, if filed as separate
actions, may consolidate such petitions and  treat
them as a single action.
    (2)  A  hearing  shall be had on such order no
later than seventy-two hours after its issuance or
the  first  court day thereafter. The sole purpose
of such a hearing shall be  to  determine  whether
there  is  an  amount  due  and  owing between the
owner, agent, lessor or manager and the company or
municipal   utility.   The   court  shall  make  a
determination of any amount due and owing and  any
amount  so determined shall constitute a lien upon
the real property of such owner. A certificate  of
such amount may be recorded in the land records of
the  town  in  which  such  property  is   located
describing  the amount of the lien and the name of
the party in default.  When  the  amount  due  and
owing  has  been paid, the company or municipality
shall issue a certificate discharging the lien and
shall  file the certificate in the land records of
the town in which such lien was recorded.
    (3)  Not  more  than ten days after receipt of
the order of appointment  by  the  receiver,  such
receiver  shall  provide  written  notice  to  all
occupants of the building or buildings,  delivered
separately to each dwelling unit, stating that the
receiver has been authorized to collect all  rents
or  payments  for  use  and  occupancy  or  common
expenses, as defined  in  section  47-202  of  the
general  statutes, due from such occupant and that
the owner, agency, lessor or manager, as the  case
may  be,  is prohibited from collecting such rents
or  payments  for  use  and  occupancy  or  common
expenses.  The notice shall include the address to
which payments are to  be  made  and  a  telephone
number at which the receiver can be contacted. The
notice shall be in plain and simple  language  and
shall be written in English and in Spanish. A copy
of the court order  appointing  the  receiver  and
authorizing  the  collection  of  rents  shall  be
attached to the notice.
    (4)  The receiver appointed by the court shall
collect  all  rents  or  payments  for   use   and
occupancy  or common expenses forthcoming from the
occupants of the building or buildings in question
in  place  of the owner, agent, lessor or manager.
The court  may  authorize  the  receiver  to  make
reasonable    repairs   and   provide   reasonable
maintenance to the premises, as determined by  the
court, the reasonable cost of which shall be added
to the total amount due and owing from the  owner,
agency, lessor or manager.
    (5) The receiver  shall pay to the petitioner,
other supplier or  receiver,  as  is  appropriate,
from such rents  or payments for use and occupancy
or  common  expenses   from   such   building   or
buildings,  in the  following  priority:  (A)  For
electric, gas, telephone,  water  or  heating  oil
supplied on and  after the date of his appointment
and  for  the   reasonable  cost  of  repairs  and
maintenance   made   or   provided   pursuant   to
subdivision (4) of  this  subsection; (B) for such
reasonable fees and  costs determined by the court
to  be  due   the  receiver;  (C)  for  reasonable
attorney's  fees  and   costs   incurred   by  the
petitioner; and (D) for any arrearage found by the
court to be due and owing the company or municipal
utility from the  owner,  agent, lessor or manager
for service provided  such  building or buildings.
The  owner, agent,  lessor  or  manager  shall  be
liable for all  such  costs.  Any moneys remaining
thereafter shall be  turned  over  to  the  owner,
agent, lessor or  manager.  The court may order an
accounting  to  be   made  at  such  times  as  it
determines to be just, reasonable and necessary.
    (b)  Any  receivership established pursuant to
subsection  (a)  of   this   section,   shall   be
terminated  by the court upon its finding that the
arrearage which was the subject  of  the  original
petition  or petitions have been satisfied for all
buildings subject to the receivership, or that all
occupants  of  a  building  have  agreed to assume
liability  in  their  own  names  for  prospective
service  supplied  by  the petitioner, or that the
building has been  sold  and  the  new  owner  has
assumed liability for prospective service supplied
by the petitioner.
    (c)  On  motion by the receiver, the court may
authorize the  receiver  to  institute  a  summary
process  action  pursuant  to  chapter  832 of the
general statutes against an occupant, upon a prima
facie  showing that: (1) The occupant has received
notice  in  accordance  with  subdivision  (3)  of
subsection  (a)  of this section; (2) the receiver
has made reasonable  efforts  to  supplement  such
notice  with  other  written  and oral notice; (3)
after  the  occupant  has   received   notice   in
accordance  with subdivision (3) of subsection (a)
of this section, payments  equal  to  one  month's
rent or use and occupancy have not been made by or
on behalf of the occupant during the  most  recent
sixty  consecutive  days; and (4) the duty to make
such payments has not been suspended as  a  result
of the condition of the premises or any applicable
preoccupancy certification  requirements.  In  any
such summary process action, the receiver shall be
subject  to  all  claims  and  defenses  that  the
occupant  could  assert  against the owner, agent,
lessor or manager of the dwelling.
    (d)   Nothing   in   this   section  shall  be
construed to prevent the petitioner from  pursuing
any  other  action or remedy at law or equity that
it may have against the owner,  agent,  lessor  or
manager.
    (e)  Any  owner,  agent, lessor or manager who
collects  or  attempts  to  collect  any  rent  or
payment  for use and occupancy or common expenses,
as  defined  in  section  47-202  of  the  general
statutes,  from  any  occupant  of  a  building or
buildings  subject  to  an  order   appointing   a
receiver  or  who in any other way interferes with
the receiver in  the  performance  of  his  duties
shall  be  found, after due notice and hearing, to
be in contempt of court.
    (f)  If  a proceeding is initiated pursuant to
sections 47a-14a to  47a-14h,  inclusive,  of  the
general  statutes  or  sections 47a-56 to 47a-56i,
inclusive,  of  the  general  statutes  or  if   a
receiver of rents is appointed pursuant to chapter
735a of the general statutes or  pursuant  to  any
other  action  involving  the making of repairs to
residential   rental    property    under    court
supervision,  rent  or  use and occupancy payments
and common expenses, as defined in section  47-202
of the general statutes, shall be made pursuant to
such  proceeding  or  action  without  regard   to
whether  such  proceeding  or  action is initiated
before or  after  a  receivership  is  established
under  this section, and such proceeding or action
shall   take   priority   over   a    receivership
established   under  this  section  in  regard  to
expenditure of such  rent  or  use  and  occupancy
payments.

Approved May 22, 1998